Your child knows they are different from other people. It’s pretty obvious. Not talking about it won’t mean they don’t notice the divide, and they know it *far* sooner than they talk about it.
What often happens, though, is that they never meet any other people who are like them. (And especially,…
I really can’t say if I saw myself as normal or not when I was little, but I was raised from the get-go to view myself as inferior. And I’d find actual people “like me” and it would piss other people off because the people I already knew hated those I would find or decide to love, would insist I’m actually not like them based on fallacies that had nothing to do with why I decided we were alike in the first place, would insist that no one is like me, et cetera. So I at an early age decided not to talk about people I liked unless I knew them personally or unless they were deemed publicly close-to-perfect. More positive representations are still sorely needed.
Remember Tamara and Betty? No shit I wasn’t an addict. I never thought I was. That would have made zero sense. But my mother didn’t just say I wasn’t an addict. In fact, she wasn’t the one who said that. Others were. Other said, “Aw, you’re much nicer than them.” My mother said, “They’re NOT like you! When are you going to get it through your head that NO ONE IS LIKE YOU? You are like NO ONE! You are the LONELIEST PERSON ON EARTH! What’ll it take to show you are the LONELIEST PERSON ON EARTH?!”
My mother could not get over the stereotypes enough to acknowledge any child who was not rocking in a corner as autistic. She ignored a diagnosis and an obvious source: her husband, my father, who
I grew up with the stigma of disability, without the support of the disability community. Until Mom told me what I was, I thought I was a freak of nature. I thought I was the only one. I scoured the Internet for anyone else like me. When she told me, everything made sense.